Weight loss may repair the brain after stroke in diabetes

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New research from Karolinska Institutet has indicated that weight loss leading to normalized glucose metabolism can significantly improve neurological recovery from stroke in mice with obesity and diabetes.

The study’s findings, published in Cardiovascular Diabetology, could have potential implications for stroke rehabilitation in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Study Details

People with type 2 diabetes are known to have an increased risk of stroke and a slower recovery process.

Given that the global prevalence of diabetes is expected to rise dramatically, reaching an estimated 700 million people by 2045, identifying improved treatment strategies is paramount.

While lifestyle changes, including weight loss, can reduce the risk of stroke, the Karolinska Institutet study is the first to explore whether such approaches can also enhance neurological recovery after a stroke.

The study demonstrated that long-lasting weight loss, achieved through dietary intervention and resulting in the normalization of glycemia and insulin resistance, can improve neurological recovery following a stroke.

However, short-term dietary changes leading to the same weight loss, but without improving overall metabolic profile, were not effective in facilitating recovery.


The study’s results suggest that prioritizing weight loss upon the diagnosis of diabetes could potentially improve the prognosis after a stroke for individuals with diabetes.

Dimitra Karampatsi, MSc, Ph.D. student at the Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet, and the study’s first author, said, “This suggests that people with diabetes might have a better prognosis after a stroke if weight loss will be given a high priority after diabetes is diagnosed.”

The researchers plan to further explore this important finding in a clinical registry study.

Alexander Zabala, co-author, MD, Ph.D. student at KI SÖS, and Physician at Vo Acute Internal Medicine and Neurology at Södersjukhuset, added, “This important finding needs to be further explored in clinical studies to enhance the treatment of our type 2 diabetic patients.”

The study’s findings suggest that sustained weight loss leading to improved metabolic profiles could facilitate better stroke recovery in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

However, more clinical studies are needed to further understand the association and its implications for treatment strategies.

If you care about weight loss, please read studies that hop extract could reduce belly fat in overweight people, and early time-restricted eating could help lose weight.

For more information about weight loss, please see recent studies that Mediterranean diet can reduce belly fat much better, and Keto diet could help control body weight and blood sugar in diabetes.

The study was published in Cardiovascular Diabetology.

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